Cities can inspire hopes and dreams, so it’s no surprise that they also can inspire fantasy lives as well. This collection of documentaries offers up a unique blend of facts and fantasies involving cities in Canada.
“Seth’s Dominion” (2016)
Director Luc Chamberland sheds light on the cartoonist Seth, mixing insightful biography with vivid animation and exploring his model city named Dominion that Seth has been building for the last 10 years. In this deft portrait, Seth proves to be a wry and engaging narrator of his life story and artistic process. Continue reading “Northern Lights: Docs Featuring Canadian Cities”
Being a gamer can challenge your cognitive ability and your dexterity, but it can also be a challenge to your social skills. How can gamers interact constructively with others while still maintaining their competitive edge? Check out these documentaries about various kinds of gamers.
“Wizard Mode” (2016)
This film is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of one of the world’s greatest pinball players. The film follows Robert Gagno as he seeks to balance his quest to become a world pinball champion and his growing real world responsibilities, culminating at the largest pinball tournament in the world. Continue reading “Playing Along: Docs About Gamers”
The art of British graffiti artist Bansky has always raised more questions than answers. This mystique is probably why the artist has been a popular topic for documentaries this past decade. Check out these documentaries about Banksy.
“Exit Through the Gift Shop” (2010)
This film tells the story of how an eccentric French documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the worlds most infamous graffiti artists at work. Continue reading “Being a Wallflower: Docs About Banksy”
What does it mean to be a single mother in today’s world? What joys and challenges do single mothers face? Check out these documentaries featuring single mothers.
“Kind Hearted Woman” (2013)
This documentary acts as a portrait of a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. The film follows her over three years as she struggles to raise her two children, further her education and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Continue reading “One to Grow On: Docs Featuring Single Mothers”
If you’re a music fan and want to dig further behind the music, there are always a lot of great books to read. But if you want to hear the people behind the music and see their process, nothing can beat a documentary. Check out these documentary series that explore different aspects of music history.
The eight-part series explores the art of music recording and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists of all time, “Soundbreaking” explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives.
Jazz has been called the purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation. Ken Burns’ 10 episode series follows the growth and development of jazz music from the gritty streets of New Orleans to Chicago’s south side, the speakeasies of Kansas city and to Times Square.
“The History of Rock & Roll” (1995)
This 10-part documentary covers rock ‘n’ roll history from its humble beginnings in the ’50s to Lollapalooza in the ’90s. Fans can experience their favorite rock ‘n’ roll moments all over again through hundreds of exclusive interviews, classic footage and unforgettable in-concert performances from rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest stars.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is a situation familiar to many, but may not be fully understood by everyone. What does it feel like to be bullied? What can be done to stop the situation? Check out these docs that examine the issue of bullying.
This is a character-driven documentary following five kids and families over the course of a school year. Provides an intimate and often shocking glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices. You can also check out the companion book to the film in our collection.
“A Brave Heart” (2016)
Follows the inspiring journey of 26-year-old, 58-pound Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist. Born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Velasquez was bullied as a child in school for looking different and, later online, as a teenager.
“Bully 911” (2006)
This informational DVD is designed to make children feel considerably more confident when coping with bullies by teaching them the tools to escape without getting hurt. Includes a bonus feature with an extensive forum on bullies that addresses all issues of bullying with parents, kids and child psychologists.
Some journalists cover stories in hostile environments, putting their lives at risk on a daily basis. How do they carry out their jobs in such dangerous locales, and how does their journalism help society? Check out these docs featuring reporters doing high-risk journalism. Continue reading “Dangerous Inquiries: Docs Featuring High-Risk Journalism”
Humans remove animals from their natural environment for many reasons. Sometimes it is to try an experiment, or for entertainment, or because they are endangered. Whatever the reasons, the way the animals react to this change is not always predictable. Check out these docs about animals out of their natural habitat.
“Project Nim” (2012)
The story of Nim, the chimpanzee who became the focus of a landmark 1970s experiment to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Project Nim uncovers the unflinching and extraordinary journey of one animal thrust into human society. Continue reading “Out of the Wild: Docs With Animals Out of Their Natural Habitat”
The film site IndieWire recently collected a list of the 25 Best Documentaries of the 21st Century. We have all of them at DBRL, but please note that there are a few that are on order at the moment. Here’s the full list:
25. “All These Sleepless Nights” (2016)
24. “No Home Movie” (2016)
23. “Amy” (2015)
22. “Kedi” (2016) Continue reading “The 25 Best Documentaries of the 21st Century”
Sometimes the justice system works fine, putting guilty people behind bars. But at times the system can also fail, and the wrong person has to pay the price for another’s crime. Check out these documentaries featuring stories of the wrongly convicted. Continue reading “It Wasn’t Me: Docs About the Wrongly Convicted”